Antonio Bastardo’s eighth-inning meltdown leads to the Phils losing the series opener as they lose to the Braves, 5-0.

Ryan Howard’s return to the Phils’ line-up is spoiled by Antonio Bastardo’s eighth inning meltdown, as the Phils are blanked by the Braves, 5-0.

The game’s first seven innings saw a pitchers’ duel between Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick, who gave up only four hits, one walk and a hit batter, while striking out five, as he kept out of trouble, and Braves’ starter Tim Hudson, who only allowed four hits, a walk and a hit batter to reach base, while he struck out none, before they both gave the game over to the bullpens, with Kendrick being taken out at the start of the eighth inning when the Braves brought in a pitch hitter for Hudson. The Braves ended the 0-0 scoreless tie in the eighth as, with the bases loaded, via a single by pinch hitter Matt Diaz, and walks by Michael Bourn and Chipper Jones, and with two men out, Freddie Freeman walked, forcing in Diaz, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead, while moving up a base both Bourn and Jones, leaving the bases loaded. The Braves then took a 5-0 lead as Brian McCann followed up with a grand-slam home run, his eleventh home run of the season, knocking in Bourn, Jones and Freeman. That would end up being the final score as Chad Durbin threw a 1-2-3 ninth.

Kyle Kendrick received a no-decision as he threw seven scoreless innings, giving up just four hits, a walk and a hit batter, while he struck out five. Antonio Bastardo (2-3, 5.34) took the lost as he pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up five runs on two hits and three walks. Michael Schwimer pitched a third of an inning, striking out a batter. Jeremy Horst pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two. Tim Hudson (7-4, 3.56) got the win as he pitched seven scoreless inning, giving up four hits, a walk, and hitting a batter. Eric O’Flaherty and Chad Durbin combined for two scoreless innings, giving up a hit (O’Flaherty) and a walk (O’Flaherty) between them, while striking out two (O’Flaherty).

The Phils had only five hits in the game, with Ryan Howard (Single, Double), as he made his first appearance in the line-up for 2012, leading the team with two hits. Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and pinch hitter John Mayberry, Jr. had the other three Phils’ hits, all singles. The Phils also had two walks, and a hit batter (Chase Utley), as they were unable to produce any offense, while going 0-8 with runners in scoring position.

The Phils (37-48, 5th) will continue their series with the Braves (44-39, 4th) with a night game tonight. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:15 pm EDT. The Phils will send to the mound Joe Blanton (7-7, 4.85), who is coming off a lost to the Marlins on July 1. as he pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks, while he struck out seven, in the Phils’ 5-2 lost. He will be trying to even up the series. The Braves will counter with Tommy Hanson (9-5, 3.70) ,  who is coming off a lost to the Cubs on July 2, as he went seven innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while he struck out eight, in the Braves’ 4-1 lost. Hanson will be trying to pitch the Braves to a series win. The Phils will be trying to even up the series.


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